Internal Revenue Service Migration Data Show Mixed Trends in the Rogue ValleyAugust 9, 2023
The 2020-2021 migration patterns were recently released by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Migration data for the United States are based on year-to-year address changes reported on individual income tax returns filed with the IRS. They present migration patterns by state or by county for the entire United States and are available for inflows (the number of new residents who moved to a state or county and where they migrated from), and outflows (the number of residents leaving a state or county and where they went).
These migration patterns show the number of returns and exemptions (a good proxy for people) that filed their federal taxes in a different county from the previous year. Not only can this data help show the volume of migrants into or out of the Rogue Valley, but it also reveals the county of origin for those moving here. On the other hand, we can also track where folks move to when they file their taxes with a different address than their prior year’s tax return.
Net migration was negative in Jackson County in 2021. There were 9,004 exemptions that migrated to Jackson County and 9,446 exemptions that migrated out of Jackson County, for a net migration loss of 442 exemptions or people. Of the 9,004 who migrated to Jackson County, 5,980 came from a different state and 3,024 came from a different county in Oregon. Among the 9,446 who migrated out of Jackson County, 5,897 left for a different state and 3,549 migrated to a different county in Oregon.
Population estimates from Portland State University’s Population Research Center show a net migration increase of 1,201 new residents in Jackson County from July 1, 2020 to July 1, 2021 – trending differently from the IRS data. The PSU series does not cover exactly the same time period as the IRS tax year data. Also not everyone who migrated here may have filed taxes during the period the IRS collects data for that year. Late filers would be excluded from the annual IRS migration data.
Net migration remained positive in Josephine County in 2021. There were 4,324 exemptions that migrated to Josephine County and 3,830 exemptions who migrated out of Josephine County, for a net migration gain of 494 exemptions or people. Of the 4,324 who migrated to Josephine County, 2,297 came from a different state and 2,027 came from a different county in Oregon. Among the 3,830 who migrated out of Josephine County, 2,042 left for a different state and 1,788 migrated to a different county in Oregon.
Population estimates from Portland State University Population Research Center show net migration gain of 1,336 new residents in Josephine County from July 1, 2020 to July 1, 2021 – trending similarly but stronger than the IRS data.
The top in-migration counties into Jackson County include many California counties, especially Southern California counties including Los Angeles, San Diego, and Orange County. A large number of Oregon residents moved between Jackson and Josephine counties from 2020 to 2021. There were 1,094 exemptions or people who moved from Jackson to Josephine County and 907 who migrated from Josephine to Jackson County, for a net migration loss from Jackson County of 187. With Josephine County having the most migration to Jackson County, Oregon overall had 2,875 residents migrate to Jackson County, of the counties where migration data are published. California had 2,378 exemptions or people migrate to Jackson County between 2020 and 2021 among the counties where data are available.
Jackson County saw the most people out-migrate to Josephine (-1,094), Lane (-364), Multnomah (-301), and Klamath county (-228). Total Oregon out-migration among the counties with at least 20 tax returns filed was 3,115 in 2021. There were 741 Jackson County exemptions or people who out-migrated to California among the counties where data are available.
The top Josephine County in-migration counties include many in California, but the top county was Jackson, where 1,094 residents migrated to Josephine County. Other Oregon counties where people moved from and to Josephine County were Douglas (+127), Lane (+126), Multnomah (+112), and Marion (+67). The California in-migration effect is quite apparent looking at the top net in-migration counties in 2021, with Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Orange County having the fifth, sixth, and eighth greatest number of people migrating to Josephine County.
Looking at out-migration in Josephine County, eight of the top 10 counties where people moved from were to other Oregon counties, with counties in other states including Maricopa County, Arizona receiving 84 out-migrants and Clark County, Nevada seeing 49 residents migrate from Josephine County in 2021.
We have seen faster population growth coming out of the Great Recession but that has slowed in the past few years as home prices have now spiked past pre-recession peaks. Rental costs are reaching new heights in the past couple years as vacancy rates have fallen and the supply of new housing hasn’t kept up with demand. New people become critical contributors to our local labor force, and create or relocate businesses in the Rogue Valley. New residents bringing diverse perspectives, and more importantly, are looking for many of the same quality of life benefits that those of us that call this place home value.
Notes about IRS Migration Data
The data are available for Filing Years 1991 through 2021 and include:
- Number of returns filed, which approximates the number of households that migrated
- Number of personal exemptions claimed, which approximates the number of individuals
- Total adjusted gross income, starting with Filing Year 1995
- Aggregate migration flows at the State level, by the size of adjusted gross income (AGI) and age of the primary taxpayer, starting with Filing Year 2011.
For more information and to download the data go to: https://www.irs.gov/statistics/soi-tax-stats-migration-data.